Monthly Archives :

October 2017

Autism Q&A

Louden on Autism Q & A: Finding A Job

560 315 Paul Louden

Welcome to the Louden on Autism Q & A. This week, I’m back to answer a question submitted by a website visitors to shed light on some of the most important questions about autism. I receive questions every day, and I want to make sure that the answers to these important questions are being shared with all of you.

 

Please know that these are my opinions and my answers come from my research and my own personal experiences. Of course, each situation is different. All of us as people are different. And no two people with or without autism should be treated the same exact way.

 

This week, I received a question about older people with autism and how diagnoses can be different for those people who aren’t children or in their youth. This is a very common topic, so I wanted to address it in this week’s post.

 

QUESTION

 

Every time we discuss with my son about getting a job he shuts down. His story is that he worked for IBM after college for two years. He was then let go because of sleep problem.  He has $60,000 in student loans and we need to find him work, any suggestions?

 

ANSWER

 

This is a difficult situation many on the spectrum find themselves in. Failures lead to a loss in confidence, but you also often learn not to trust your own feelings of confidence. You’ve been confident before, and failed, so you learn you can’t really judge whether you’re ready to try again or not.

 

On top of that, you often have people telling you “I believe you can do it,” but you’ve seen them be wrong about you before. It’s also difficult because as long as you’re feeling pressured to get a job, it adds to the anxiety and uncertainty, making being successful at the job more difficult.


The most important thing, really, is to work to reduce pressure. That means focusing on other things, helping him find a place in life where he feels competent at just having reliable days. Address the anxiety, depression, and other symptoms.


Also, it may be valuable to look into SSI disability income. For some it’s important as a long-term tool to help stabilize things, but it can also just be a stepping stone. With the income from SSI offsetting the time-pressure that can come from being unemployed, it can make searching for a job feel less panic and anxiety inducing, and more something about finding “the right job, where I can succeed” rather than “any job, so that I’m no longer unemployed” which often can lead to more failure, and further loss of confidence.

 

Thanks for reading. Check back soon for another Q&A.

Autism Q&A

Louden on Autism Q & A: Bullying People With Autism

560 315 Paul Louden

Welcome to the Louden on Autism Q & A. This week, I’m back to answer a question submitted by a website visitors to shed light on some of the most important questions about autism. I receive questions every day, and I want to make sure that the answers to these important questions are being shared with all of you.

 

Please know that these are my opinions and my answers come from my research and my own personal experiences. Of course, each situation is different. All of us as people are different. And no two people with or without autism should be treated the same exact way.

 

This week, I received a question about bullying on the Internet in relation to Autism. Here are my thoughts.

 

QUESTION

 

I am on the Autism spectrum as well. People on the Internet like to say that people who do or say something stupid are . . . Autistic. Personally, I do feel insulted by that. How would you perceive these comments?

 

ANSWER

 

This is particularly frustrating because we’re often struggling against our challenges, trying to be better. Trying to make missteps less often. When it’s used as an insult, it suggests we aren’t good people, when the truth is, we usually are and our missteps hurt us when we recognize them just as they may hurt people we’ve inadvertently offended.

 

So using the term “autistic” as a general insult for anyone who lacks social graces or otherwise does things like that is just completely unacceptable in my book. I take offense to it and it really does bother me quite a bit.

There are a lot of words, historically, that have been used as insults for a while until people learned to adjust their behavior around them. Although it’s not nearly to the same severity for “autistic,” things like the n-word and “retarded” have gone through various periods with the former being reclaimed, and the latter more or less being retired.

 

My perspective is that we should be trying to lay claim to “autistic” and establishing it as an identity. A word that has a specific meaning *we* control, rather than letting people who might abuse it toss it around as an insult, and that ties into part of how I speak about it these days. But in the end, harsh words come from all types of people, with and without disabilities, so we have to focus on what we can control and move forward being the bigger person.

 

Thanks for reading. Check back soon for another Q&A.

Autism Q&A

Louden on Autism Q & A: Diagnosing Older People

560 315 Paul Louden

Welcome to the Louden on Autism Q & A. Today, I’m back to answer a question submitted by a website visitors to shed light on some of the most important questions about autism. I receive questions every day, and I want to make sure that the answers to these important questions are being shared with all of you.

 

Please know that these are my opinions and my answers come from my research and my own personal experiences. Of course, each situation is different. All of us as people are different. And no two people with or without autism should be treated the same exact way.

 

This week, I received a question about older people with autism and how diagnoses can be different for those people who aren’t children or in their youth. This is a very common topic, so I wanted to address it in this week’s post.

 

QUESTION

 

I would like to know your take on my 36 year-old-son. I suspect that he is on the spectrum, but when he was growing up, autism wasn’t sure on the radar so much. My question to you is where/how can I find support for someone diagnosed as an adult? Everything I read is geared toward children.

 

ANSWER

 

Support for adults is really fairly weak still. It’s just a situation where the more “obvious” problems that result in someone being diagnosed in earlier childhood tend to get a lot of the focus because they seem more extreme, but someone who’s able to cope just well enough to manage a little bit, and slip by until later in life, doesn’t seem as important for many institutions to focus on. Unfortunately, this just isn’t really true. While the degree of the challenges may be different, both individuals are human beings who deserve the best chance at a good life they can have.



My general advice is to look for a therapist who’s familiar enough with autism that they can address any other challenges they have (depression or anxiety, sensory issues, etc.) with an awareness of how autism could be affecting their experience of them. As well, look for local groups that may allow you to share resources or other information – there are often support groups, and they may know employers, entertainment venues, and other things that are aware enough of autism to create a better experience for those that interact with them.



I’ve found a large part of improving my situation isn’t just learning to address my symptoms, but looking for, and finding, spaces in the world where I’m more comfortable being autistic.

 

Thanks for reading. Check back soon for another Q&A.